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Thread: OTT DYM Mission 8 - Schlacht um Verdun Unternehmen Gericht - 6th March 1916 - by Mike

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    Default OTT DYM Mission 8 - Schlacht um Verdun Unternehmen Gericht - 6th March 1916 - by Mike

    OTT DYM Mission 8 - Schlacht um Verdun Unternehmen Gericht (Operation Judgement)

    The death of Canadian pilot 2nd Lt Phil Boots CdGs saddened every one of his peers in the Bulldogs squadron. As had the captivity of F/Sgt Henry Roe CgDs.

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    Everyone was blaming the damned Royal Aircraft Factory and its bloody RE7. Nobody could imagine a more useless aircraft, given the job it was supposed to do. Three lost in one go during the latest mission and the only news of the crew had come from the enemy. Lt Boots had been killed when his aircraft was shot down and was given a burial, by them, with full military honours. F/Sgt Roe had been reported as injured, but was being cared for well. As soon as he was fit enough he would be sent back to Germany. His war was over.

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    It was therefore a while before the full story of this fateful mission came to be known. Simply put, because nobody had returned from it! At least, not for some time. When they did, it was in dribs and drabs as the four survivors dragged themselves back home again one way or another, all nursing various injuries; all requiring some period of recovery and all with various tales of woe, depending on what they could remember of what they thought they had seen.

    Eventually, Uncle was able to put two and two together and make four. Or was it five or even six? Whatever! When he finally thought he had the picture, he sent in a report to confirm what the reconnaisance bods had photographed the day after the mission. A successful bombing raid, but at great cost.

    However, perhaps we are jumping the gun a bit. Best start from the beginning I suppose.

    News had come in, towards the end of February 1916, of a railway tunnel, behind enemy lines, in which the enemy were storeing all kinds of militaria, including troops. All snug as a bug in a rug, safe and sound from artillery bombardment. Not at all to the liking of the brass hats. So repeated attempts had been made to shut it down, by bombing the tunnel entrances. One end had already been successfully destroyed, but the entrance furthest from the lines remained open.

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    “The plan is to fly well beyond the tunnel, circle around, then approach the remaining entrance from the east.” The CO had explained to Lt Mick Taker. “It lies at the end of a rather heavily defended
    cutting and of course, by now, we are well and truly expected. Not only are the ground defences strong but the air is also well populated by little Fokkers and the like. However, previous attacks have revealed that providing you remain at altitude, and avoid flying through the actual cutting, the ground defences inside the cutting remain unsighted. Which just leaves the Archie on either side to contend with. Oh and the EA of course. By approaching from the east, you will naturally have a clear site of the entrance to the tunnel. Added to which you can bomb the damned thing and then simply fly on ahead to come home. How does that sound?”
    “Bloody suicidal! What do we get to fly? Not those damned awful RE7s that arrived yesterday?”

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    “I’m afraid so Mick” said the CO to Lt Mick Taker, who had been given the job of flight leader.
    “But there are only two out there and you have ordered a flight of three of us! Do we get one of the BE2cs as the third?”
    “Afraid not Mick. There’s another RE7 on its way as we speak and should be here any time now. As soon as it arrives, we refuel it and off you go.”

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    “Rumour has it that even Trenchard himself has refused to have the damned things. They’re really slow and won’t reach anything like a decent altitude. How come we’ve got them now?”
    “Ours not to reason why and all that. They’ll get the job done just as well as anything else we have that’s currently serviceable, which isn’t much at all after the last little debacle. Sorry Mick but orders are orders. OK?”

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    So the three RE7s had set off late in the day. Lt Mick Taker with F/Sgt Henry Roe; 2nd Lt Phil Boots with F/Sgt Jo Lee as observer; and lastly 2nd Lt Arthur Lee with AM2 Walter Lewis in the front seat. They had had a brief chat before take off and agreed that they would attack in line astern, in reverse order. Taker wanted this because he believed the worst of the archie would hit the last aircraft in the line. His own in other words. He believed he could hanle it too!

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    Thereafter there is little to tell really. When they arrived at their destination all seemed relatively quiet. Until they spotted the first of the air and ground defences that is. With nothing for it but to follow the course laid by the railway tracks below, all they could do was fly in a straight line and pray. Then the anti aircraft guns below opened on them.

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    Immediately the lead RE7 was hit. Not enough to deter its pilot Arthur Lee and at this stage it seemed almost as if the ground defences had been caught off guard. Especially when they appeared to fire on one of their own, albeit missing.

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    Which only served to annoy the pilot of the enemy aircraft, Ltn Frierich Collin, flying a Pfalz EI, who immediately took revenge on Arthur Lee’s leading RE7, stitching its canvas and adding to the growing amount of damage.

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    But all the while the entrance to the tunnel grew larger in their sights.

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    Now it has to be said that the Royal Aircraft Factory didn’t appear to have been very aware of the needs of an observer when it came to an aerial fight. Just as in the BE2 series of aircraft, they placed the observer in the forward cockpit, surrounded by struts and wires and therefore with a rather limited arc of fire against enemy aircraft. However, AM2 Walter Lewis was a patient man. So he waited until his opportunity came, as the Pfalz flew past to attack the second RE7 in the line, before giving it a couple of quick bursts. He didn’t think he’d done a great deal of damage, until he espied black smoke pouring from the engine of the Pfalz and he smiled. A smile that was wiped from his face pretty quickly when he spotted a second enemy aircraft approaching from the same direction as the Pfalz; and this one was one of the ubiquitous Fokker monoplanes!

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    At which point, things had really become rather too hot to handle.

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    F/Sgt Jo Lee, the observer in the second RE7 in line, managed a good burst against the Pfalz, before his gun jammed. The Pfalz caught fire (second smoke damage) and left Ltn Collin more or less out of the fight, desperately trying not to let the fire destroy either his aircraft, or more to the point, himself. Archie opened up again, once more successfully (this crew were good), this time against Lt Mick Taker, the flight leader, just as he had predicted. The result was a lurch and the engine began to stutter badly! Then the newcomer in the Fokker EIII, Ltn Hans Leptien, already with two kills to his name, arrived on the scene and exchanged pleasantries with the lead RE7. This time it was the turn of AM2 Walter Lewis to experience a gun jam – which did not please him one bit. Leptien added yet more damage to the RE7. Which meant, of course, that its pilot, Arthur Lee, knew it was time to head home. But since that lay in the direction he was already heading, he had no choice but to fly on and continue praying!

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    Which is when his observer kindly pointed out the arrival of yet a third EA, another Fokker (flown by Ltn Kurt Jentsch). And all the while yet more ground defences were being revealed, although fortunately the enemy appeared to have placed much of it badly, inside the cutting, where only glimpses of it were caught, now and then.

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    Likewise, of course, as indicated at the briefing earlier, the enemy could not really see them either. It was placed to defend against an attack from down inside the cutting only. Lucky RE7s!

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    And then, for an all too brief few seconds, whilst the flight drew ever closer to its target, things quietened for the RFC crews. The Pfalz had gone off bleeding bright yellow flames, the first Fokker on the scene charged past the last RE7 in the line, only to be smartly beaten up by the latter’s observer, F/Sgt Henry Roe and the second Fokker to arrive, again from the same direction as the other EA, attacked the leading RE7 and missed, as did yet another anti aircraft gun.

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    Then, yet another Fokker arrived to upset the illusion of calm, this time from off to the starboard side. Fortunately for Lee and Lewis in the lead RE7, this newcomer, Obltn Gisbert Habich, spotted his colleague attacking the lead RE7 so veered off to have a go at one of the other two that lay across his path.
    The final part of the raid was rapidly approaching.

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    Jentsch attacked the lead RE7 only to have his gun jam, adding to the insult of a complete miss at close range – one can only assume he had overestimated the power of the RE7s engine, not believing the Britishers would oppose him with such a slow machine! So he too veered away to sort out his machine gun. Which is the moment that both Lee and Lewis noticed they were being fired upon by a machine gun on the ground (my error here and it cost me dearly. I forgot that according to the scenario rules, mg fire could not hit aircraft at altitude four). It was a ranging shot that went wide, but that was unlikely to last long.
    Meantime 2nd Lt Phil Boots and his observer, F/Sgt Jo Lee, finally got involved in the action, as they were attacked by Habich flying in from the north. Bullet holes appeared in a nice neat line down their RE7s fuselage, but no vitals were hit.

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    2nd Lt Arthur Lee was so intent on pointing his leading RE7 in the right direction, that he was surprised when the aircraft suddenly lifted. He heard Lewis, or rather, saw his lips moving, indicating that their bomb had been dropped. “Thank the Good Lord for that”, he thought, just as another round of bullets from the machine gun emplacement just below them, ploughed into his machine and set it on course for German occupied soil.

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    The fact that this particular enemy mg had jammed hardly mattered to Lee at that moment. The fact that the observer in the RE7 immediately behind them had just sent a burst into Jentsch’s Fokker, as it turned back to attack him, setting it on fire, also hardly mattered to him at that moment. The fact that his flight leader and F/Sgt Roe had just engaged a green Fokker and that the result was both of them blown from the sky, hardly mattered to him at that moment. He was heading earthwards and there wasn’t much he could do about it, other than wrestle with the controls in the hope he could make a half decent crash landing.

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    But it mattered to Jentsch and it mattered to both Lt Mick Taker and his observer. Jentsch would also spend the remainder of this fight avoiding the flames and skilfully bringing them under control to the point where he could make a successful landing back at his barn.
    Lee and Lewis crashed without yet seeing the results of their bomb drop.

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    And the bomb fell. Further and further.

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    But as for Taker and Roe, they were also doomed to crash, almost alongside the enemy Fokker that F/Sgt Roe had just shot down. Taker, injured, to make it home again fairly quickly, but not so Roe. Despite Taker’s efforts to revive the unconscious F/Sgt, he would not succeed. He left to find some water for his observer, but on returning, found him gone. Not until he arrived back at his barn did he discover that the enemy had taken Roe captive.

    And the bomb fell. Further and further.

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    Lee and Lewis crawled from the wreckage of their RE7, blew it a not very fond farewell and, nursing their wounds and their pride made it away from the scene after witnessing the destruction they had caused. It would be Lee who made it home first. To relate this tale, of course. Sadly, he also witnessed one final drama before he legged it. Looking up he witnessed the moment that the last surviving RE7 was attacked. And shot down. To the demise of 2nd Lt Phil U R Boots. Jo Lee would make it back home again, but it would take him many weeks, months even.

    And the bomb fell. Further and further.

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    Until the bomb hit its target and destroyed the tunnel entrance!

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    Leaving the German defenders to lick their wounds, congratulate themselves on shooting down three british aircraft and to repair the tunnel entrance inside the next 24 hours!

    We know, already, that the burning Fokker survived.

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    As for the burning Pfalz

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    Well it too survived, but the repairs will take rather a long time we hear.


    The end

    Butcher’s Bill

    Entente

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    2nd Lt Arthur W Lee (Pilot) (RAF RE7 – red dot) SD ET / 0 kills but successfully bombed tunnel entrance.
    Roll 2D6 = 8 -1 SD = 7 Injured – skip 1D2 = 1. Skip 1 scenario.
    E & E
    Roll 2D6 = 9 -1 WIC -1 BEL = 7 Skip 1 scenario.
    Result – Skip 1 scenarios

    AM2 Walter Lewis (Observer RE7 red dot) SD ET / 0 kills but successfully bombed tunnel entrance.
    Roll 2D6 = 8 -1 SD = 7 Injured – skip 1D2 = 5. Skip 2 scenarios.
    E & E
    Roll 2D6 = 8 -1 WIC -1 BEL = 6 In hiding. Skip 1D2 = 3 Skip 1 scenario.
    Result – Skip 2 scenarios

    2nd Lt Phil Ulyses Robert Boots (Pilot) (RAF RE7 – blue dot) SD ET / WIA / 0 kills
    Roll 2D6 = 4 -1 SD -1 WIA = 2 Dead
    Result KIA RIP

    F/Sgt Jo Lee (Observer RE7 blue dot) SD ET / 0 kills
    Roll 2D6 = 4 -1 SD = 3 Injured. Skip 1D6 = 5 Skip 5 scenarios.
    E & E
    Roll 2D6 = 5 -1 WIC -1 BEL = 3. Captured and escaped. Skip 1D3 = 1 Skip 1 scenario.
    Result Skip 5 scenarios

    Lt Mick Evan Taker (Pilot) (RAF RE7 green dot) SD ET / WIA / 0 kills
    Roll 2D6 = 7 -1 SD -1 WIA = 5. Injured – skip 1D3 = 5 Skip 3 scenarios.
    E & E
    Roll 2D6 = 8 -1 WIC -1 WIA – 1 BEL = 5. In hiding. Skip 1D2 = 2 Skip 1 scenario.
    Result skip 3 scenarios

    F/Sgt Henry Edward Roe (Observer RE7 green dot) SD ET / WIA / 1 kill
    Roll 2D6 = 8 -1 SD -1 WIA = 6. Injured – skip 1D3 = 5 Skip 3 scenarios.
    E & E
    Roll 2D6 = 3 -1 WIC - WIA -1 BEL = 0 Captured!
    Result – Captured – the war is over for this pilot.

    Central Powers


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    ObLtn Gisbert Habich (Fokker EIII red dot) EXP FT / 1 kill
    Roll 2D6 = 11 – 3 EXP = 8 Injured – skip 1D2 = 1 skip 1 scenarios
    Result – skip 1 scenarios

    Ltn Kurt Jentsch (Fokker EIII blue dot) RTB / 0 kills
    Result – All good

    Ltn Friedrich Collin (Pfalz E1) RTB / 0 kills
    Result – All good

    Ltn Hans Leptien EKII; PB (Fokker EIII yellow dot) RTB / 0 kills
    Result – All good

    The remaining two kills were from ground fire.

    Victory points:
    Entente:
    Tunnel destroyed = 100 points
    Scout shot down = 2 points
    Total = 102 points

    Central powers:
    Two seaters shot down x 3 = 15 points
    Total = 15 points
    Last edited by flash; 09-15-2019 at 02:06. Reason: Tally tidy

  2. #2

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    Some Notes to go with the above: Since I chose to play this out in three D, as usual, I decided, for the sake of the looks of the thing, to have three pegs equal to 1 level of altitude. That gave me room to fly over the tunnel entrance. Not that that was ever necessary Other than that I did not play any altitude rules.

    I also chose to fly all three RE7s, in line astern, down the railway lines on every move. It seemed like the only logical thing to do. Directions for that appear in the scenario if the aircraft are “in” the cutting. I assumed it would be ok to do the same above it. Hope that doesn’t upset anyone.

    And having chosen to fly the RE7s I realised that I had no plane card for them. I searched and found none (any offers please – sorry I have no details of named crew members). So, running low on time I asked Guntruck for his advice. That came back very promptly, with not a little eyebrow raising at my choice of aircraft Couldn’t agree more Steve, I agree entirely, but I was determined to use them anyway. After all, some poor bastards had to back then. The firing arc is as described in the Windsock file but it isn’t clear to me exactly when the overhead gun was added, so in the end it was easier to choose a firing arc (and the rules to go with it) similar to the BE2c. I trust that has been acceptable. All other stats were as per the unofficial aircraft listings.

    Playing in 3D was very challenging, given the nature of the terrain involved. So the astute observer may even spot the occassional glimpse of supports in the form of wine bottle corks, plastic boxes and yellow lego bricks hidden under copious amounts of lichen which moves about a bit like the Huorns in Lord of the Rings . Sorry about that.

    Sad to lose Boots and Roe and, effectively F/Sgt Jo Lee as well. They will be missed. Uncle, I’d be grateful if you would tell me how many replacements I’m permitted and I’ll come up with some names. I’d prefer to choose those myself if that’s ok And does one of them have to be a rookie, given that F/Sgt Roe had passed that milestone?

    Thanks go to Neil (Skafloc) for a very interesting mission. From the point of view of scenery, movement and photography, it really did challenge – great stuff. Hope my interpretation meets with your approval

    Finally, as usual not all of the photos are presented in the correct sequence of play, rather they fit the story, but there are over ninety pics available if anyone wants further proof of my idiocy, together with the usual paperwork, upon which all is recorded

    Happy days – and so to mission 9

  3. #3

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    A victory! Huzzah! ....I guess??? Do you have anyone left for the next mission?

    Well done AAR.

  4. #4

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    Lol actually I'm not sure I have very many pilots available any more for anything. I'm just about to check out mission 9. I'll find out then Wish me luck. Thanks for the rep Paul

  5. #5

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    Lovely run through Mike, those RE.7's must be 'kin awful but they look the part. What are the stats for those horrors ?!

    Uncle says:

    Rotten shame, they got the job done with second rate equipment but not around to hear the accolades. Brave lads one and all
    F/Sgt Jo Lee awarded Military Medal for his service to the King

    ObLtn Gisbert Habich, awarded Pilot badge for his first victory


    Mike - you always select your own flights names - I only supply the Eagle's names for you, you don't have to be rookies (although, of course, many were)
    You need a minimum 1 scout pilot & 1 tandem crew. You may want to select a new Lt to cover for Taker
    Last edited by flash; 09-13-2019 at 12:50.

    "He is wise who watches"

  6. #6

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    I really enjoyed reading it, nice AAR!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus View Post
    Lol actually I'm not sure I have very many pilots available any more for anything. I'm just about to check out mission 9. I'll find out then Wish me luck. Thanks for the rep Paul
    It’s not so bad. You can check my AAR unless you like to do yours before seeing others. Just make sure that you only draw the boom card when shooting the enemy and if your crew do get shot down don’t roll low for the injury and evading escape rolls. Something I didn’t manage to do. Oh well, next mission a couple of crew are returning from vacation.

  8. #8

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    OK Paul, I'll try to keep that advice handy. Won't look at your AAR until I've completed my own though - never do - but since you are expressing a tearful face above I'm guessing it didn't go too well Ah well, that's war I guess

    Rotten shame, they got the job done with second rate equipment but not around to hear the accolades. Brave lads one and all
    F/Sgt Jo Lee awarded Military Medal for his service to the King

    ObLtn Gisbert Habich, awarded Pilot badge for his first victory


    Mike - you always select your own flights names - I only supply the Eagle's names for you, you don't have to be rookies (although, of course, many were)
    You need a minimum 1 scout pilot & 1 tandem crew. You may want to select a new Lt to cover for Taker
    Many thanks Uncle - much appreciated. I'll get back to you with names just as soon as I manage to get my head around running in against the other end of the tunnel (which incidentally has already been destroyed according to my mission 8 - guess they repaired that in double quick time too
    Stats for the RE7 two seater as follows: Available 16Q1 to 16Q3 - move deck XD; fires one B; Damage points 9 !!!; Alt 8; climb rate 8. In other words you are spot on, they were 'kin awful. But I enjoyed the challenge and they did get the job done

  9. #9

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    Incidentally, if you cannot identify the ground defences from the photos its because I didn't lay them out face down in the first place. I put 3D markers in the correct spots, shuffled the cards, put them under something so i couldn't see them, then only drew the cards from the top as they came into range. Seemed to work ok that way.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus View Post
    OK Paul, I'll try to keep that advice handy. Won't look at your AAR until I've completed my own though - never do - but since you are expressing a tearful face above I'm guessing it didn't go too well Ah well, that's war I guess
    Watcha mean, Mike? It was another one of the Emperor's great "successes". And only 40% crew casualties versus mission 8's 75% so we're on an upward trend. Ha ha!

  11. #11

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    Visually delightful for us, but not such a good outcome for you. C'est la guerre.

    You've done a great job with the terrain, as usual, an excellent report and photos.

    Cheers

  12. #12

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    It was another one of the Emperor's great "successes". And only 40% crew casualties versus mission 8's 75% so we're on an upward trend. Ha ha!
    Then I shall eventually be congratulating your boys, no doubt about it.

    And thanks John - yes the outcome was somewhat pyrrhic I'm sad to say

  13. #13

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    Well done, Mike, especially flying those POS RE.7s - makes the BE.2c look good
    9 damage is pitiful - I wonder how that was determined?

    The casualties ripped through your boys like a chainsaw.

    Tough to lose well-named crew as well.

    Your board looked like an HD version of my VHS attempt.

    Rep has been dispatched.

  14. #14

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    Thanks Pete - had to fly those RE7s just once. Don't think I'll be using them again too soon though. Not unless I have to. Tempted to put a couple of Eagles in one of them and say it was captured - Mmmm now there's a wicked thought for you OK only a jest. Thanks for the rep.

  15. #15

    Thumbs up

    Well Mike what can I say?
    Almost a mirror image of my effort but at least you destroyed the tunnel entrance albeit at a very high cost.
    Wonderful story & superb 3D scenery as we have come to expect from you & you never let us down.

    Rep which was so well deserved is on its way.

    "Its a fine line indeed between going out in a Blaze of Glory or having Crashed & Burnt!"
    Member Australian Society of WW1 Aero Historians

  16. #16

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    Thanks Baz - Yep it was hard losing a couple of the guys and they had only recently been decorated too. Boots was my highest scoring scout pilot just to make things a little worse Plus another guy out for five missions, so he won't be returning either - glad to see he got a gong though. Must celebrate that one all -

  17. #17

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    Well done Mike. Another tale of woe and glory. Mission accomplished with un-Godly aircraft and not one flew home. Puts a pinch on the roster!

  18. #18

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    Don't know how I missed this back in September, but I certainly did.

    Well-told tale, the scenery is superb, and the mission itself...well, sometimes to prove a point, you got to take one for the team.

  19. #19

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    Many thanks guys. Seems a long while back I flew this one. I'm afraid the RE7 didn't exactly distinguish itself, but then they had me flying them so what could they hope for Quite a challenge I do recall Thanks for the rep



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